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Inclusions in Baltic Amber

Inclusions in Baltic Amber

WHAT MAKES NATURAL BALTIC AMBER A SCIENTIFIC PHENOMENON? One of the elements is certainly the fact that Baltic Amber was formed over 45 million years ago, so Scientists are interested in Amber because of the remains of flora and fauna of that time. Inclusions in Baltic Amber are like snapshots made 50 million years ago, which give a possibility to study behavior of some species, the relationships between them. Insects got into the resin in unbelievable moments: laying eggs, mating, getting out of cocoons, spiders spinning their web or catching a prey; swarms of flies, mosquitoes or termites, which got into resin during wedding flights.

Sticky and tacky Resin became trap for insects, arachnid. Resin was very runny but got hardened when evaporated. Any trapped fly or ant remained preserved forever that's how inclusions were formed.

Unlike other fossils, which were usually compressed by sediment, Baltic Amber with inclusions is transparable on all sides. Earlier there were trials to take out a beautifully preserved inclusion. However, what a disappointment people experienced when the trial failed and the inclusion was destroyed. The reason is that the internal organs of trapped organisms are decomposed, but their surface structures survived to the smallest details: the tiniest hair and scales could be seen. Sometimes it seems you are looking at alive insects and not 50 Million Year Old inclusions. It allows scientists to describe and identify flora and fauna of those times. If to compare currently existing species to the species which are in the inclusion morphologically, you can trace evolution of living organisms.

About three thousands five hundred fossil fauna were found in Amber, 10-15% of which are presently existing species of insects that have not evolved much since. Only small, mostly forest-living species can be found, because bigger insects were strong enough to escape and water-living insects rarely got entrapped. The insects that lived in dry places or did not fly in spring, when trees were exuding resin and processes of tree metabolism took place, are hardly found in Amber.

The fauna preserved in Baltic Amber is almost exclusivery restricted to arthropods, with insects and arachnids making up a majority of nearly 99%. Inclusions of other phyla (worms, molluscs, vertebrates) are extremmely rare. Only 9 species of land molluscs have been found in Amber. The unique inclusion of snail's shell is exhibited in the Baltic Amber Museum.

100 species of ticks and 580 species of spiders have been found in Amber. Of all arachnids found in Amber most common prisoners were forest living spiders that used to live on plants, under the bark. These are tropical and subtropical varieties. Spiders are 9% of found inclusions. Besides spiders, the products of their activity, fine webs with particles of wood or dew-drops, even their prey that got sucked and dried out often occur in pieces of Amber.

Insects (90%) form a great amount of all inclusions found in the Baltic amber. The most common ones are flies and mosquitoes. They make 45% of all found items. Currently there are 74 families with 800 species. Two more known species are hymenopteran, such as ants and small hornets (450 species), and bugs (140 species).

The complete opposite of insects are fleas. There are 6 specimen known. Four species of fleas, which existed at that time, are detected. The first flea in Amber was found in 1910. This discovery became a sensation.

Feathers and hair give witness to the existence of birds and animals. But feathers are found rarer.

Fragments of plants that are found in Amber are usually small leaves, needles, flowers and their parts, sometimes small twigs and fruits. Apart from the very small stellate hairs of oak flowers, plant inclusions are very rare in Baltic Amber. On average, only one in a thousand inclusions is of botanical origin. The main reason is that plants, unlike animals, could only come into contact with the resin passivery.

Apart from fungi, lichen, moss and ferns we know a large number of flowering plants from Baltic Amber. The gymnosperm specimens are from conifers or cycads, though predominantly from conifers. The Amber forest must have been rich in deciduous trees such as evergreen, oak, beech, red chestnut, elm, laurel, willow and maple trees.

You have to admit that finding bugs and plants frozen in a time "capsule" from so many millions of years ago must have been a starting experience. For example, the movie "Jurassic Park" was based on finding the DNA of a dinosaur in the blood of a mosquito that was preserved for over 100 million years in natural Amber. Talk about extinct species! There's no disputing the fact that Amber has given us a unique window into the fascinating world of ecology in ancient times.

Baltic Amber is really amazing and beautiful. It has been used since ancient times, making Amber Jewelry and ornaments, as an ingredient in perfumes and has long been used in Folk Medicine for its healing properties.


Amber Artisans

About The Author

As a small business, both in our town and in the world, we are extremely focused on every customer. Quality is our #1 priority so that everyone who buys from us has a very successful and personal experience. We are working with natural genuine Baltic Amber and our craft is something we infuse in every sale we make. We want our customers to know how very important they are to us and that we care about every aspect of what we do. Amber is very personal to us. It's the treasure of our country. And it's the most powerful homeopathic remedy that we can give to each and every person who reaches out to us.

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